According to the few fragmentary information released by the cantonal police headquarters of the canton of Appenzell Ausserrhorden, today between Herisau and Hundwil there was a helicopter crash that resulted in the death of a 59-year-old pilot, while the 56-year-old female passenger suffered serious injuries and was transported to hospital by a Rega helicopter.
The emergency call was received by police around 4 p.m. When rescuers arrived on the scene, the wreckage of the helicopter (an experimental two-place Rotorway Exec 162F with call-sign HB-YKJ) was on fire.
Eyewitnesses say the helicopter had already been observed several times in the past flying over the area. "Today, though," says one witness, "the helicopter flew very low and emitted an abnormal noise. The pilot was having problems and was probably looking for a place to land".
Police and firefighters rushed to the scene. Swiss Transportation Safety Investigation Board (STSB) officials who arrived on place by helicopter will investigate to determine the causes of the accident.